Southampton sack Mauricio Pellegrino as manager after less than a year

Ruben Hill
March 13, 2018

Mark Hughes is the early favourite to be handed the task of rescuing Southampton.

Southampton's refusal to sell defender Virgil van Dijk in the close season had disrupted their Premier League campaign which ultimately led to manager Mauricio Pellegrino being sacked, former club captain Matt Le Tissier has said.

Southampton have won just one of their last 17 league matches - against bottom club West Brom - with Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Newcastle proving to be the final straw.

Rather than look for an interim manager to see them through to the end of the season before reassessing things Pellegrino's successor will be a permanent appointment.

Hughes has taken charge of almost 450 Premier League matches for Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR and Stoke.

Marco Silva, out of work since being sacked by Watford in January, could be considered again though any approach would be complicated by the fact he was overlooked by Southampton last summer in favour of Pellegrino and interest from Benfica.

As the paper points out "given the club's perilous position they will struggle to attract a leading manager", increasing the likelihood that the Saints will go marching into the Championship at the end of the season.

Silva impressed many with his ultimately fruitless attempts to guide Hull City to Premier League safety a year ago and he made a good start at Watford this season until an approach from Everton soured his relations with the club.

They then face a crunch clash with relegation rivals West Ham at the London Stadium on March 31.

Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, veteran Martin O'Neill and Koeman, who was named the new Netherlands coach last month, were among the outsiders for the job listed by bookmakers Skybet.

They hope to have his replacement, who will be their fifth manager in four years, in charge in time for Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final at Wigan.

They are in their sixth successive season in the Premier League and have not finished lower than 14th in any of the previous five.

The club sit 17th in the league on 28 points, a point ahead of Crystal Palace and Stoke, with eight games left to play.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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